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Client calls and leaves a whiny 2 min long voicemail tonight

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JContracting, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. JContracting

    JContracting LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,878

    Well, this has been bugging me since I first got the message around 8pm tonight, I didn't answer as I was out on a buddy's boat and we all were swimming at the time she called. But I just signed her on (she wants every 10 days for mowing) and I did the first cut last Thurs, the next one will be tmrw because I'm not cutting on a wknd. But she goes on & on & on about how she wants me to bring out an electric hedge trimmer to trim some of the massively overgrown isanti dogwood & lilac and then (here's something I've never heard) she wants me to leave the trimmings and she's going to handle them, I'm not sure how, she doesn't have a truck nor a trailer nor access to a yard waste site without paying. She then says she hopes I can give her a good deal on it and would like it done tmrw when I'm there to mow because she just can't handle the overgrown plants anymore.
    How do you guys think I should handle this one? This is the 2nd 1.5+ min voicemail she has left me, and tmrw I have a few properties to cut before this one (this lady's will be the last) and then around 2 pm I'm meeting with another lawn company owner to talk about buying him out & scoping his properties and then in the evening just about everyone I associate with (friend wise) is going out on a party bus for two of my buddy's birthdays that are this wknd. So I'm not going to be trimming shrubs on a Friday afternoon when I have meetings planned as well as someone calling me the day before they want shrub trimming done when I haven't even looked at the job & even given them a price.
    PITA clients like this drive me nuts! Especially when I now have a good steady stream of new accts & installs coming in.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I'm confused as to why she wants them done with electric hedge trimmers? I had a customer pull this on me at the job site yesterday. I work solo and schedule just enough work each day. She says she was having people come to visit and would I please shear her rose bushes. I told her I didn't have my trimmers with me. She said that's okay, she has an electric set. So I find myself trimming with a 100 year old Black and Decker 12" hedge trimmers. Whatever. They have my phone number. Call me ahead of time. No biggie.
  3. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    Leaving the clippings would not be a problem with me...I'd be glad to! Now the elec trimmers might be a problem...I don't have any...well I do have a cheapo battery powered one but I only use it for light duty trimming.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    Return her call and tell her you would not be able to assist her in the future. This person has already gotten under your skin and she will play you like a fiddle if given any more chances. If she persist tell her , Your Fired. Say good by and put this behind you.
    If you decide to keep her, I would Fire you for being a fool to put up with someone like this. This person sounds like the type that has way to much time on her hands and will only be your ruin in the future.
    easy-lift guy
  5. C Jovingo Landscaping

    C Jovingo Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 436

    Tell her your schedule is full for the day & you need more than 24hr notice so you can work it into your schedule. Give her price for doing it on next schedule mow date & if she wants it done ASAP give price to make special trip to do the job. I would also give just trimming price & trimming/cleanup price. She may have you do cleanup if price is in her budget.

    As far as electric trimmers...she probably don't know gas trimmers exist or she isn't used to saying gas trimmers or just trimmers. Prob just so used to saying electric trimmers.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Just do the work, and be glad you have the opportunity to do it. There are 10 others lined up behind you willing to accommodate her request. If you don't want to do it, then skip the work and enjoy the weekend and time away from her property.

    Why whine about it? Working in a field to provide residential property services is your choice. If you don't like the mix of clients that comes with your choice, then perhaps it is better for you to find another service with another profile of clients.
  7. pseudosun

    pseudosun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,739

    One of my simple tactics is to say what i can do rather than what i can't do. Example: I can come Monday and trim that for you. I agree with having no problem leaving the trimmings. She will understand the amount of work it is, and may appreciate you more. I don't think she gives a flip about your plans, that shouldn't enter into your business equation. On the flip side, if she's shaping up to be a nag, you'll just have to lay it down firm. Good Luck.
  8. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    don't giver her any excuses at all. Just tell her, I have a full schedule today, I can trim them for X on Xday. That's all there is to it.
  9. unit28

    unit28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,554

    let's talk about the other side of this...
    you're buying your buddies accounts.
    How many more PIA customers is he off-loading for you to pick up?
    All of us {at least we should} know at this time of year is usually the transition to weed out the flak.

    The other side of this is, at leat your customer {in hand} gave you the decency heads up phone call a day in advance. So it's time to man up and tell her when you'll be there to do the job and you will be picking up the debri for XXX$
    After this years drought in most places, I am sure betting other LCO's would be jumping at such opportunities.

    So if you wish to pick up the flak from your buddy, or turn your customer into a valued customer, your choice. The other choice is go to the swimming party and in the end try to figure out why things didn't turn out so great afterall. As it seems to me you want to party and have to chase customers.

    My advice is not waste time, after 30 years in it, I can tell you that time is what you'll be hanging your hat on.

    So my answer to your question is, tell your customer the answer is yes, and your buddy will have to meet you on your schedule. The customer always comes first, and that's the one giving you the check.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  10. Ijustwantausername

    Ijustwantausername LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,718

    Exactly. I'm dealing with one of these currently. I was supposed to mow their yard on thurs, I get an email thurs morning saying to skip, because of drought. Okay, thats fine. Butttttt, they want me to spray, I think this week... Well I'm sorry but you are scheduled for Thurs, cant really do anything for you until next week as I have Friday people to tend to.

    Just stick to your guns folks. If they are that impatient, let em bother the next dude.

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